Biden, Putin strike at reconciliation as UN talks on nuclear weapons begin

US President Joe Biden comments on the economy at the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House in Washington, US, July 28, 2022. Reuters/Elizabeth Frantz

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UNITED NATIONS, Aug 1 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden said on Monday he was ready to strike a new nuclear arms deal with Russia and called on Moscow to act in good faith as his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin Said that there can be no winner in this. any nuclear war.

The two leaders issued written statements as diplomats gathered for a month-long UN conference to review the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). It was supposed to take place in 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the conference, “This happens at a time of nuclear threat not seen since the height of the Cold War.” “Humanity is just a misunderstanding, a miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation.”

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He warned that there was a “crisis brewing with nuclear ventures”, citing Russia’s war in the Middle East, North Korea and Ukraine.

Within days of Russia’s February 24 invasion, Putin put the country’s resistance forces – which include nuclear weapons – on high alert, citing aggressive statements from NATO leaders and Western economic sanctions against Moscow.

But in a letter to the participants of the NPT review conference, Putin wrote: “There can be no winner in a nuclear war and it should never be uncovered, and we want equal and equal treatment for all members of the world community.” Standing for inseparable security.” read more

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Arms control has traditionally been an area where global progress has been made possible despite widespread disagreement. The UN conference comes five months after Russia invaded Ukraine and erupted US-China tensions over Taiwan, a self-governing island claimed by Beijing. read more

‘Hacking attack?’

Moscow and Washington last year expanded their new START treaty, which limits the number of strategic nuclear weapons and land- and submarine-based missiles and bombers to deliver them by 2026.

“My administration is ready to rapidly negotiate a new arms control framework to replace the New Start when it ends in 2026,” Biden said. “But negotiation requires a willing partner acting in good faith.”

“Russia must show that it is ready to resume work on nuclear arms control with the United States,” he said.

Asked about the statement, a Russian foreign ministry source questioned the seriousness of Washington’s intentions, telling Reuters: “Is this a serious statement or a hacking attack on the White House website? If it’s still serious.” So, with whom do they really intend to discuss this?” read more

Biden called on China to “engage in a dialogue that will reduce the risk of miscalculations and address those destabilizing military dynamics.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a UN conference that Washington is committed to seeking a comprehensive risk mitigation package that will include secure communication channels between nuclear-weapon states.

“We stand ready to work with all partners, including China and others, on risk mitigation and strategic stability efforts,” he said.

Blinken also said that the withdrawal of the 2015 nuclear deal is the best outcome for the United States, Iran and the world, and again accused North Korea of ​​preparing for a seventh nuclear test. read more

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida urged all nuclear states to conduct themselves “responsibly”. Kishida is from Hiroshima, which became the first city in the world to suffer an atomic bombing on August 6, 1945. read more

“The world is concerned that the danger of the catastrophe of the use of nuclear weapons has once again surfaced,” he told the conference. “It must be said that the road to a world without nuclear weapons has suddenly become even more difficult.”

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Reporting by Susan Heavy and Simon Lewis in Washington and Mark Trevelyan in London; Editing by Grant McCool

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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